Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lobster Mushroom Bisque, Grilled Wild Asparagus and Yellow Squash with Cherry Tomatoes

Dinner 8/29

Lobster Mushroom Bisque

Grilled Wild Asparagus and Yellow Squash with Cherry Tomatoes

We utilized our Farmers' Market veggies tonight -- by grilling the wild asparagus and cherry tomatoes, augmented with a yellow squash from our garden. We were surprised to find the lovely Lobster Mushrooms at our local grocery store -- unmarked and sort of hidden in the corner - so we bought them all at a very good price.

The soup is a riff on a traditional New Orleans bisque -- starting with a darker roux (earth balance/ap flour) base. It utilizes the lobster mushrooms by adding and pureeing about half of the cooked mushrooms into the base with cream (about a 1:1 ratio of soy milk/soft tofu). The rest of the mushrooms were used as garnish.

The results were outstanding: a hearty soup with a smooth, velvety texture, and a real depth of mushroom (umami) flavor.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

BBQ Tofu Pizza

Dinner 8/25

All good things come to end, and today was the end of our daughter's summer vacation. To ease the sting, we combined two of her favorite meals: BBQ tofu and pizza topped with Daiya Cheddar.

BBQ Sauce (version 2)

1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. ketchup
2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 cup fire-roasted whole tomatoes
1/2 cup bourbon
1/3 cup agave
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat oil and saute onion and garlic until translucent.

Add salt, pepper, smoked paprika, mustard, ketchup and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes (we like to crush them with a potato masher) and the remaining ingredients. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer on low for 25-30 minutes until starting to thicken.

Remove from heat and add to the vita-mix (or blender) and puree until smooth. Use immediately, or store in refrigerator.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Grilled Tofu, Wilted Arugula, Panzanella

Dinner 8/21

Grilled Tofu

Wilted Arugula


It's been a very busy summer -- and another busy weekend -- so, a quick meal tonight.

The arugula (olive oil, garlic, pepper, tamari) acted as the base for the grilled tofu. We used our standard marinade for the tofu, turning every 3-4 minutes to get the nice grill marks.

The crutons were toasted in the cast-iron pan (earth balance, nutritional yeast, pepper) and were tossed with the cherry tomatoes (which couldn't have been much sweeter if they had tried) and a red wine vinaigrette.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tomatillo Enchiladas with Alder-Smoked Tofu, Corn Soup with Nopales and Pepitos

Dinner 8/11

Tomatillo Enchiladas with Alder-Smoked Tofu

Corn Soup with Nopales and Pepitos

A long-time favorite here at wthdavea...

The corn tortillas were pan-fried in oil for 10 seconds per side and then dipped in the tomatillo sauce (roasted tomatillos, roasted jalapenos, roasted garlic, soy milk, Mexican oregano, cilantro, garlic salt & pepper, all pureed together)

They were then stuffed with the alder-smoked tofu (pan-fried, splashed with tamari, cut into strips), a little more Daiya, and diced red onions.

The enchiladas were put into a baking dish (single layered) and topped with the remaining tomatillo sauce and Daiya. It was baked in a 400F oven for 20 minutes.

The enchiladas were served along with a corn & potato soup (corn, potatoes, mushroom broth, soy cream, Mexican oregano, salt & pepper), topped with nopales (grilled cactus) and pepitos (roasted pumpkin seeds).

Friday, August 06, 2010

Alder-Smoked Potato and Chanterelle Pizza topped with Himalayan Salt

Dinner 8/06

Alder-Smoked Potato and Chanterelle Pizza topped with Himalayan Salt

We've been making a lot of pizzas this summer -- at least once a week, sometimes twice a week. We keep tweaking the dough recipe, rise time, and time spent in the refrigerator. At a certain point you start to play with the toppings, like this version...

Start by cutting the yukon gold potatoes thinly on the benriner, and tossing them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then lay them in the smoker box (add some aluminum foil to the rack to keep them from slipping through) and process for 30-35 minutes. They should be cooked through -- but try not to eat them all before they go on the pizza.

The (local) chanterelles were trimmed and scrubbed with a soft toothbrush to remove any hidden grit -- there is nothing more disappointing than biting into a gritty piece of mushroom -- and were pan-fried with olive oil, Earth Balance, black pepper and a splash of tamari at the end of cooking to add even more umami.

Add the potatoes -- overlapping each other slightly -- on top of the dough and add the cooked chanterelles and some minced rosemary.

Then sprinkle your favorite soy cheese on top (this was Daiya Mozzarella) and bake on the pizza stone, 500F for 7 minutes, turn 180°, +3 more minutes.

To gild the lily, we grated some Himalayan Salt on top.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Squash Blossoms, Teddy Salad

Dinner 8/05

Squash Blossoms

Teddy Salad*

Ah, summer... walk down to the garden, grab a couple of ripe things and you've got dinner.

As usual, we stuffed them with a mixture of shallots, soy cream cheese and smoked paprika and dipped them in our Fritto Misto batter.

* Salad as in...? Lettuces, cucumber, radishes. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

"Oh, Columbus, I Never Should Have Let You Go..."

Dinner 8/04

It's vacation week, so we made the 2 hour trip down I-71 to visit my sister and brother-in-law in Columbus.

After the drive, we started with lunch at Udipi Cafe -- we've gone to the one in Parma Hts., and this was also an excellent South Indian buffet -- the kids really liked the dosas.

A trip to Columbus also means we have to make the pilgrimage to Pattycake Bakery for a post-thunderstorm* snack (sadly, no pictures of the whoopie pies & gigantic chocolate brownie), a trip to North Market for some produce to take home and we finished the day with dinner at Dragonfly Neo-V Cuisine.

Thanks to my sister for taking pictures with her iPhone.

We started with the pizza and its delicious mix of tomato and roasted red bell pepper sauce, topped with cherry tomatoes & olives -- nice crust too...

Next up is the Crusted Portobello Mushroom & Ratatouille stack with Mashed Potatoes.

Finally, the Lemony Risotto with Grilled Tofu.

Thanks also to the staff & chef for the gazpacho amuse and chocolate-coated strawberries.

* Dear people of Columbus: When the power is out all over High St., please treat the lack of working signals at intersections as four-way stops. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A tale of two cakes

Dessert 8/03

You might remember the Chocolate Raspberry Torte from last year...

Well, here it is with a twist as a Buttercream Raspberry Torte

Why yes, Liz is all kinds of awesome!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Tofu and Tomato Stew, Samosas, Chickpea and Kabocha Squash with Coconut Milk, Basmati Rice

Dinner 8/02

Tofu and Tomato Stew
(recipe below)


Chickpea and Kabocha Squash with Coconut Milk

Basmati Rice

Tofu and Tomato Stew

1 tbs. canola oil
1 lb. of extra firm tofu
1 tbs. tamari

1 tbs. canola oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs. ginger, grated
10 curry leaves

1 cinnamon stick
1 black (or green) cardamom
6 cloves

1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. dried chili

2 cups of tomatoes, diced (or 2 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed)
salt and pepper to taste

Dice the tofu into small cubes. In a wok on medium-high heat, add 1 tbs. canola oil and stir-fry the tofu until golden brown on all sides. At the end of cooking, splash with 1 tbs. of tamari. Turn until well coated and then remove the tofu to a plate and reserve.

In a large saute pan on medium heat, add the canola oil and cook the sliced onions until they start to show some color, then add the garlic, ginger and curry leaves and cook for a minute.

Using a mortar & pestle, grind the black (or green) cardamom seeds and cloves together. Add the whole cinnamon stick and the freshly ground spices to the onions and cook for one more minute.

Add the cumin, coriander, ground chile and stir to combine, cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes, season with salt and pepper.

Turn the heat to down and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes have broken down. At the end of cooking add the stir-fried tofu back into the stew and stir to combine. Check for seasoning and serve with basmati rice.

The chickpea/kabocha squash dish was a pleasant surprise for a totally freestyle preparation. Diced kabocha squash was pan-fried and then braised with chickpeas, turmeric, tamari and black pepper in coconut milk and reduced down for 20 minutes.

Liz made the samosas (stuffed with potato and peas) and the center of the plate was rounded out with basmati rice to soak it all up.